Truly, I was just looking for an image of -a- Pope on a Throne.
You Walk in the image of the one whom you Love.
We all know that an image is worth a thousand words. So too is an action worth ten-thousand more. My adventures lead me to speak with many different types of people, and in each case I love to address the eternal value of Man, Salvation and the Eternal Life of the Redeemed. My mother was born in a 3rd world country. Catholicism was taught to be her only means and access to God. She was forbidden to read The Scriptures, and was raised singing Latin songs, to which she could not understand the words. Regardless of what anyone says, my mother's experience far outweighs any political or public salve any Pope could hope to cover. She experienced the full force of Catholicism in the Philippines, a country of fanatical religious turmoil marked by Islam and Catholicism respectively. Once when I visited the Philippines, my mother told me "Don't go outside, the Muslims are known to kidnap young women in the streets." A word to the wise is sufficient, to say the least. How one receives the Truth and walks in light of it, proves the value of your presence. Catholics are so inundated with their finely crafted philosophy, that it sometimes proves difficult to cut through the illusion. Yet we are called to Love them, and to love them enough to tell them the Truth - that they may , like seeds , crack the shell of their narrow view of God, that they may pop their head above the soil and enter into Life to walk by the Spirit of God, to Live a triumphant Life with their Savior, Jesus Christ.
Trees can grow so very tall indeed
I find it ironic that today, while I am not in any particular struggle, The Lord would lead me to Paul's sharpest argument against the Priest Caste System of the Levites, Pharisees and Sadducees. Rabbi Paul's letter to the Hebrews, are in essence, a letter to those who were most recently rescued from their slavery to their sacrificial systems at that time. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, and there is nothing new under the sun.
Paul - Spiritual Father of the Church
Paul is the father of the Church. These are first generation Christians. There is no doubt that Paul saw Jesus, was filled and led by the Holy Spirit, and performed works by the Spirit of God. It is ironic that while so many latch onto the -image- of holiness, they fall short of the substance of the Spirit . The Catholic system is marked by leaning on the Catholic Sacrificial system which substitutes the Body and Blood of Christ , for the regular offerings of lambs, goats and bulls of the Old Covenant.
In his letter to the First Christians - Messianic Jews- Rabbi Paul applies with sound reason and delicate application, evidence for Messiah. He also does so in a loving light. His purpose was to help those Hebrews entering the new covenant, now facing persecution from those devoted to the Old, and the The Levitical Priest Caste. Rabbi Paul's illustration applies to not only that specific occurrence, but to all religious institutions which operate in the same image. Tell me if this sounds familiar?
Hebrews 9:23 - 10:16 ESV
" Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priests enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for man to dice once, and after that comes judgement, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him"
Contrast that with Hebrews 10:1 ESVChrist's Sacrifice Once and for All (excerpt) "...it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins." Q: Why Forbidreading The Word of God? Mom corrected me. She said "I was not forbidden from reading The Scriptures, just any Non-Catholic Scriptures. Catholics believe that to read those is a Sin ".
Matt 23:13 ESV “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in." Yeshuah Jesus - His name means Salvation. The system is ultimately one which profits on sin, which Martin Luther exposed and criticized, in the hopes for reform, but he was excommunicated. While I see many crosses of my savior Crucified, does the theology reference the Resurrected Christ who makes intercessions for us daily? Christianity is Older than Catholicism
Many, not all are aware of what they are doing, but no man is capable or qualified to sanctify anything of Yeshuah Jesus. By doing so they assume a higher authority than Christ, and exalt themselves "as if" to make him suffer since the beginning of time. The system leverages fear and narrow vision to manipulate the Mass, and deter them from seeking God, learning from Him and growing themselves. What is the substance that people are partaking? I don't rightly know, but i've seen the effects, which makes for a very downtrodden people swinging like pendulums between Sin and Salvation only to take "The Communion" again.
Communion With Whom? The evidence of a Christian life, is not in the image, but in the substance of Life. When one turns from their sins to God and maintains on that path and in direction, they are Refreshed by His Spirit, and need not keep fueling the shallow "image" of holiness, with the stain of corruption by those living a lie.
It is better that one actually consider "Take this and eat of it" rather than to brush it aside. Love one another to present the Truth, and have love for one another, that the Holy Spirit may apply His word to their hearts and achieve a godly growth from it.
I am not against those who are Catholic, any more than I would be against the original Hebrews who defended their Egyptian slavers. Some good can come of it, but ultimately the Lord bought our freedom and our redemption by sending His Son. If the Nation of Israel was purchased by the blood of many lambs, so all of mankind was adopted into the family of God by His Son's single sacrifice. The sooner we can get people to embrace the truth of it, the better quality of Life we'll have In Yeshuah's Name.
Luke 11:27 ESV True Blessedness 27 As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!”28 But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”